SHARE

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — Linebacker Roquan Smith, safety Eddie Jackson and other Chicago Bears defensive players felt ready to begin hitting last week when organized team activities ended.

A weekend around the likes of Dick Butkus, Doug Plank, Richard Dent and other Bears greats at the franchises 100th anniversary celebration hardly doused those flames.

Theyll have to wait six weeks, but the Bears started wrapping up offseason work on Tuesday with mandatory minicamp by saying theyre already prepared to begin making up for the way last season ended.

“That first-round game, thats just fuel to our fire,” Jackson said after the first of three minicamp practices. “We came up short. Were just ready to get back at it.

“You could tell everyone was here 100 percent for OTAs. So that just shows you that everyone is on board and were just ready to chase greatness.”

Everyone, perhaps, except the kicking candidates.

Elliott Fry, Chris Blewitt and Eddy Pineiro each missed in succession from 42 yards during Tuesdays practice, a yard shorter than Cody Parkey missed from to end the Bears playoff loss to the Eagles.

“For today, we cant have that,” coach Matt Nagy said. “We are going to figure this thing out. But 0-for-3 today, no good.”

A positive going forward is their teams overall health. Almost every Bears player is back for the minicamp, which ends Thursday.

Injured receiver Anthony Miller (shoulder), tight end Trey Burton (hernia surgery) and rookie Emanuel Hall (hernia surgery) are out, but are all expected back for training camp.

Jackson returned after he missed time last week when someone stepped on his heel, and tackle Bobby Massie returned earlier after missing time in OTAs with a neck injury.

The defense continues to try to get down different terminology under new defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano.

“I will say were certainly at that point right now where our guys are ready,” Nagy said. “Theyre ready to put the pads on.

“Theyre sick and tired of me saying, dont you get close to that quarterback, dont tip the ball, dont grab jerseys, dont do that.”

Tuesdays practice came with more Bears alumni around. A group of 20 watched current players who were a bit in awe of them last weekend.

Defensive players expressed everything from gratification to shock to inspiration after visiting with past Bears greats.

“You want to kind of mimic that,” cornerback Kyle Fuller said.

Smith spent time taking tips from Butkus and linebacker Otis Wilson.

“Pretty much Butkus was like, Just be violent. By all means be violent. That was his main thing,” Smith said. “And pretty much Otis, from the 85 team, it was more saying the same thing: get the quarterback, Read More – Source